Last year, I had the immense pleasure of bringing out one of my second cousins from Hungary, where my whole family lives except for my dad and sister, who are stateside. I was so looking forward to show around more of my second cousins here in the states, and this past weekend, I had another great opportunity to do so.
Arriving the weekend before in Maryland, where my father and his wife live, my cousin and his fiance spent the week touring around Washington DC and then making their way down towards Florida and St. Augustine, where I drove up with a good friend of mine to meet them on Friday evening. I booked us a room at a quaint and very charming bed and breakfast called the St. Francis Inn, where I have stayed many times before. It was particularly fun going here because I was going to show them around my favorite city in Florida. After a wonderful dinner at A1A Ale Works with the whole gang, my friend and I walked around the historic district with the foreign travelers as we made our way to the oldest fort in the US. After a pleasant stroll around the fortress walls, we walked by an outdoor garden, where we enjoyed some great music and a few drinks, and then headed back to the inn where we retired for the night.
We enjoyed a very tasty Saturday morning breakfast, and then the four of us went back to the fort while my father and his wife made their way towards the Orlando area. After a fun but hot walk around Castillo De San Marcos, we drove over to the St. Augustine Lighthouse for some wonderful views of the city and ocean. My cousin had mentioned that he’d like to see an alligator so I took them to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. I have driven by here many times but never bothered to check it out. I’m glad I finally did, as it was a very cool and interesting zoological park full of different types of birds, reptiles, crocodiles and, of course, alligators. They even had albino or white alligators, which I’ve never seen before. They also feature one of the largest crocodiles in captivity called Maximo. We then drove south along the ocean on A1A towards Daytona Beach, where we stopped for a quick dip in the water. We ate dinner at a beachside restaurant in Flagler Beach, and then shot over to Kissimmee to meet my dad at my step-brother’s timeshare.
The four of us spent all day Sunday at Universal Studios, which completely did my relatives in, particularly the super-fun new Simpsons ride. After a fun but exhausting day at Universal, we drove back to the timeshare and enjoyed a truly delicious Hungarian dinner prepared by my father. My friend and I then drove the 3 hours back home to Ft. Lauderdale. It was so great to spend the weekend with my dad, his wife, my cousin and future cousin and of course, with my good friend and travel mate. A great warm-up to my Hawaii trip I leave for next weekend.